IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


9th September, 2022 Science and Technology

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  • Researchers have devised a system that can create cyborg cockroaches, that are part insect and part machine.


  • Cyborg cockroaches are equipped with a tiny wireless control module powered by a rechargeable battery attached to a super thin 0.004 mm solar cell module.
  • Movements of these insects are controlled by tiny integrated circuits, will be able to conduct surveillance in procedures like urban search and rescue, environmental monitoring and inspection of areas dangerous to humans.
  • The cyborg cockroaches, which are part insect and part machine, are intended to enter hazardous areas, monitor the environment or undertake search and rescue missions without needing to be recharged.
  • By equipping the cockroaches with small wireless control modules, handlers will be able to control the insect’s legs remotely for long periods of time. The body-mounted ultrathin organic solar cell achieves a power output of 17.2mW.


The Experiment

  • The team used Madagascar cockroaches which are approximately 6cm long. They attached the wireless leg-control module and lithium polymer battery to the top of the cockroach by using a specially designed backpack. This was modelled after creating a 3D body model of a cockroach allowing researchers to create a stable and thin module.
  • The solar cell module is just 0.004mm thick and produces 50 times more energy than can be harvested from living insects.
  • Famously able to survive nuclear war, cockroaches have been an inspiration for several technologies in recent years.
  • During the experiment, scientists attached wires to the sensory organs of cockroaches on the end of their abdomens. They send electrical impulses that cause the insect to move left or right. A unit of the battery was necessary for sending and receiving these electrical signals. This is why the team built a solar-powered module so that they did not need to return to a docking station or its handler when it ran out of power.

Coming: cyborg cockroaches to help in urban search-rescue missions | Explained News,The Indian Express